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How To Avoid Last Minute Problems When Selling A House

Recently, the housing market in Hackney has very much been a seller’s market.

Whilst Hackney estate agents have reported a slight fall in average house prices over the past 12 months, the past two years have found the market across the country has reached highs it has never seen before.

However, given how complex the buying process is, there are cases where problems can occur at the last minute, delaying and sometimes even aborting a sale entirely.

Here are some common potential last-minute issues and how to avoid them affecting your sale.

Moving Day Mix-Ups

A common issue that can be easily rectified, but a buyer and a seller not being on the same page when it comes to moving day can be frustrating and distressing for everyone concerned.

Typically, when the contracts are exchanged, a completion date is set for around two weeks after this date, although it can sometimes be quicker than this or be delayed via mutual agreement.

Whatever the plan is, make sure it is clear and in writing, and be aware that the date and time stated is the latest deadline, and the seller should be gone by that point.

Finances Falling Through

Whilst this tends to be unlikely, there is a chance that a buyer’s eligibility for a mortgage could change at the last minute and cause a lender to rescind their offer.

Whilst often described as a mortgage “promise”, a pre-qualification or agreement in principle can be declined if there is a sudden change of circumstances after the agreement was produced, such as missing a payment, losing a job or substantially increasing debt.

The best advice is to keep in contact with the buyer and ensure there are no unfortunate surprises.

Tragedy After Exchange Of Contracts

Whilst it is thankfully uncommon, there have been cases where after the legally binding exchange of contracts, either the buyer or the seller tragically passes away, which can lead to complications with the completion process.

If the seller dies, the sale can go ahead, with representatives for the deceased signing the transfer deed instead.

This can be delayed since there needs to be proof of the grant of probate, which can sometimes take months.

If the buyer dies, the final stage of conveyancing in almost all cases is impossible to complete, since a mortgage cannot be provided to a deceased person and they cannot be registered as the proprietor of a property.

These are typically known as “frustrated” contracts or contracts that are impossible to perform and thus are terminated.